Stepping Stones to Success Program

Date endorsed

Contact details:
Theo Chang – National Program Manager and Tony Trimingham – CEO OAM
Address Family Drug Support
PO Box 7363
Suburb Leura, NSW
Postcode 2780
Phone Tony 02 4782 9222 or Theo 0402 604354
Program developer
The Stepping Stones program was developed and written by Tony Trimingham after he, Jon Rose, and Claudia Hoareau developed the Stages of Change model for families. The Stepping Stones workbook was developed and written by Tony Trimingham and Antonia Ravesi. The Stepping Stones leader’s manual was written by Tony Trimingham. Theo Chang is the manager of the program, provides update to the leader’s manual, other course resources, training and supervision of leaders, and delivers the course.
Facilitator requirements Each leader must meet the following criteria:
• Relevant Professional qualification
• Knowledge and experience in Group leading and group dynamics
• Completed FDS Volunteer training
• Experience as FDS phone support volunteer
• Solid AOD experience and knowledge
• Experience with families
• Solid organisation and reporting skills
Target group Two essential criteria:
1. Participants who attend this program must be currently supporting someone who is alcohol and/or drug dependant
2. Commitment to complete the course
Is this program available for purchase?
The Stepping Stones to Success Program has achieved the following:
  • 2016 – IGL Gold Endorsement status – externally evaluated and published
  • May 2016 – Course delivered 164 times* servicing 1653 family members
  • 2015 – Evaluated & research published in conjunction with UNSW National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
  • Coping with problematic drug use in the family: An evaluation of the Stepping Stones program’
  • Journal entry to Drug and Alcohol Review APSAD located at
  • 150th delivery*
  • 2012100th delivery*
  • 2010 –IGL Silver Endorsement status
  • 2009 - Excellence in Prevention and Community Education – National Drug and Alcohol awards
  • Development and production of course workbook for participants
  • 2007 -50th delivery*
  • 2001 -1st delivery of the course
  • 2000 -Course developed and written

* – delivered nationwide in metropolitan, regional and rural settings

Stepping Stones to Success is a closed, structured, interactive and experiential group program for members and carers supporting someone with AOD dependency. Delivered as a psycho educational group, the course brings people together to find better ways of coping by increasing confidence and competency in managing AOD issues.

As well as presenting relevant AOD information, the course draws upon group processes to guide participants towards increased self-awareness and personal development. Emotional expression is made possible by providing a safe and nurturing environment. The course favours an eclectic approach including Solution Focused brief Therapy, Action learning Methodologies, Motivational Interviewing techniques and more.

The course draws on industry accepted models such as Stages of Change and is underpinned by Harm Reduction/Minimisation approaches. Stepping Stones provides a roadmap by exploring the parallel processes for both the drug users and family members. It is presented over approximately 27 hours either over two weekends or over 9 weeks.

Course outcomes include:

  • Better relationship with the AOD dependent
  • Better relationships with other immediate and extended family members
  • Skills for better communication, trust redevelopment, boundary setting
  • Valuing self with emphasis on self care and not tolerating inappropriate behaviours
  • Letting go of trying to control the situation, own expectations and agendas
  • Focusing on reality based support for users
  • Being better able to cope and becoming more resilient.

 Go Back